Open Source FLASH application?

Hi all,

Just a quick question.

I often use something called NVU to make my webpages. It’s like Blender in that it’s open source, free to download and use. But this only deals with Java script, HTML & Dynamic HTML.

What about flash? I’ve searched all over for an open source flash creation tool but found nothing.

If you are aware of such software, please let me know.



I once saw a blender plugin that would convert animations to flash, but it was just frame by frame (like a movie).

got flash 4 off ebay for $12.50 almost as good as open source :smiley: , check it out man. i got the manual, activation key, and a version of flash 4 for windows and a cd for mac. made my day!

was it copied and illegal, or was it real deal.

most people i know who have bought software off ebay have found it to be ripped to CD with a cracked activation key.


I think the point of the Flash format is that they give the player away for free so that everybody can watch it, but then to make the money by charging a fortune for the software to make the Flash movies.

According to their website, is able to export from its drawing program to flash.

There’s also a format called SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) that’s similar to Flash in some ways (such as being vector based) which is an open standard (and supported by W3). Adobe makes a plugin for it (see their SVG page) and according to a page on mozilla SVG will be built into firefox 1.1. There’s an open source editor available called Inkscape that I’ve just started to try out, that seems pretty good.

And by the way, it’s cool that you use NVU! That really is a nifty and useful piece of software that doesn’t seem to be getting the attention it deserves.

I’ve seen a few open source projects with the aim of being flash replacements, but none of them were really anywhere near useful yet, and didn’t seem to be too active… %|

Interactive media is one of those areas where the open-source community seems like it needs to catch up.

SVG is moving along but it’s such a behemoth that I personally don’t have much faith in it yet. After I saw the way Inkscape handles gradient fills, I pretty much gave up hope. It scares me to think of what the same people might do to an animation system.

If you need some way to create Flash files, you might look at Swish, but Flash is pretty much the way to go for now.

Try to see if you can liven your page up with gifs and JavaScript. Sometimes it’s better than Flash. Flash can take ages to load and for maintainence, making a new swf can be a pain. Also, web search engines can’t find stuff inside flash files so all those animation companies might have less success reaching your site.

Not to mention if someone wants to use a utility to download your entire image gallery or whatever - it’s tricky with flash. I know that flash is pretty much the standard for animations but the amount of people that complain about them makes me avoid it.

I was looking for something like NVU, thanks for mentioning it.


I just searched for flash

Thanks for all your replies,

I wasn’t really planning on having flash as the base of the site, I just wanted to have some small eye catching animations.

I guess what I really need is an AVI to Flash converter. Is there such a Blender plugin as shbaz mentioned?

Wu, I could purchase off eBay but that would be going against my own personal conviction, which is to use only open-source software :wink: . I have no faith in commercial products. I like to use softwares that are developed for the developer, not for a fat profit. Open source RULES!

Blender, GIMP & NVU are the tools of my profession at the moment. They’re free, small and user-friendly. We all spend enough money on our computers and their operating systems - development software should always be free.

NVU is a really good software and doesn’t mess up your HTML like DreamWeaver does. Although even NVU puts more code in than is often needed. I usually make the start of a page with NVU, then I tidy up the HTML and insert images, java scripts etc…

I haven’t gone the easiest way about making my website, but because I’ve written a lot of the code myself, I know everything there is to know about my website. I’ve also learned a lot of HTML in the process. If something goes wrong with my site, I’ll know what it is and I’ll be able to fix it quickly.

I’ll be posting my website soon as it will require some major testing.

Then how do you expect to find work? Seriously, most multimedia development companies require you to know how to use commercial applications such as Flash MX, 3Ds Max, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Illustrator, Maya etc…

If you want to find work, or advance your skills then you need to have an open mind and learn as much as you can in all the fields you want to work in. You should research some some job ads and look at the software they require applicants to have experience in.

The only exception is if you’re a freelancer, but that’s a very unstable career choice.

solocreator, and what about freeware? Windows only?

well, if you’r ok with that, check Wax video editor at
It’s great for converting an avi into a swf. is a bit tricky at start but together with Irfanview, and VirtualDub, I manage my way to do all sort of things.

Sorry, except vdub, the others are not open source, but freeware, so , free to use for comercial.

I think is strongly recommended that you master the use of comercial tools, graba copy from ebay or whatever, you actually need it to get a job. Even with the knowledge of those, it is hard…

Mainly , Photoshop and Max are a must in video games… Dreamweaver, Photoshop and Flash are practically allways totally required inweb design…For a full profile they even ask PHP and jscript coding.

Press design jobs tend to demand Adobe PS, Quark, Freehand as a must. But the 3 of them.All this is about minimum requirements, as sadly in all the fields tend to ask for 2 or 1 years experience minimum.

TV and video Lightwave, often (yep, in some cases Blender can do, like in some design companies) In films, I dunno. That’s too far from my possible scope :wink: Maya and XSI, I suppose.

Imho is important to see what is needed inan area, what’s usually demanded, and by all means, totally know every bit of those tools: if possible make some real projects, even if for the first one it’s to bad paid (but only the first! and if possible get well paid. ) Your own site is often a way to show your web design skills.

The problem is that Flash really is a proprietary format. It’s the Gillette principle: give away the handle, sell 'em the blades.

I expect to find work for an employer that has an open mind to new & innovative software.

On the contrary, learning all the things these companies say that you need to know, is for me, the narrow minded approach.

The commercial Blender counter-parts would of course be Maya or 3DS Max, but I don’t have that kind of money and I’m not convinced that they would be that much cheaper on eBay. Besides, like Alltaken mentioned earlier, there’s a lot of illegal copies out there on eBay, especially when it comes to devlopment software.

I think it’s time that employers employ people for the work that they produce and not for the software(s) they use.

I also like to use free software of course, but I think what ever softwares that we choose to use, we should always ensure that they are competitive.

Macromedia flash is anti-competitive and will hopefully end up in the same whole as Microsoft.

I have used DreamWeaver before and I’m quite good with it, but have you seen what it does to your HTML? What a mess!

Also, a web developer told me that it is illegal to remove the information that states in your HTML that it was made with DreamWeaver, which is bad news because Macromedia have a search agent that when it finds a website that was made with an Unregistered or Demo version of DreamWeaver, closes your website down automatically. I couldn’t believe it but he seemed to know what he was talking about.

Extrudeface: Thanks for the link man.

I’ll certainly look into it :wink:

What… you mean rich and successful in the business world? Macromedia may be a proprietary developer, but to label them as monopolistic is probably a stretch. If anything, I’d align them more with Apple. Overall, very tightly closed, but with just enough hooks to appear to play well with others. That’s just my take, though.

Not to sound harsh, but I’m about 75% sure that this is horse shit.

Related back to your original post, if you’re looking at Flash more for animation than for web development, you might want to take a look at Moho by Lost Marble. It’s $100, but they have a free trial version. Exports to flash and quicktime and a few other formats, builds animation in vector formats, and even has armatures.

Where exactly would said information reside? In the HTML? There is nothing added to the HTML, Fireworks though does insert a “made with” comment when exporting to DW.

What… you mean rich and successful in the business world? Macromedia may be a proprietary developer, but to label them as monopolistic is probably a stretch. If anything, I’d align them more with Apple. Overall, very tightly closed, but with just enough hooks to appear to play well with others. That’s just my take, though.[/quote]

I agree with that too. The difference with M$ is they tend to make products for one platform. AFAIK Flash works on Windows, Mac and Linux and Dreamweaver is available for at least Windows and Mac.

I read that somewhere too. It would be a bit daft because you can download the demo suite and use one measly little code to register it all (so I hear, cough). Then the little bot wouldn’t know any different. And it’s not like you couldn’t edit the html before you publish it if you used the demo.

My brother uses Dreamweaver where he works and he gives me some sites to do the Javascript and it is messy sometimes. For example, as IDs for about 5 rollover menus, it used something like a 16 digit code for each instead of menu1,2,3,4,5. I think it’s the least messy commercial product though.

Yeah, I prefer to do it using text until rollovers are needed or whatever. Then it’s just easier with a GUI-based editor and I clean up in a text editor.

I think in a similar way but if you consider that as a part of a company, you will be a cog in a machine. If you workflow is incompatible with the company, it’s more cost effective to get someone who matches their workflow than rework the entire existing workflow and staff around you.

Open source is a great idea and has a lot of benefits but it has a ways to go before it consistently churns out products that rival commercial products. Now and again you get software like Blender to do just that but mostly open source stuff is attempting to offer free alternatives to commercial products and they often fall short.

Actually no, the file specs are downloadable free of charge:


Which begs the question why isn’t there such a program? Even PHP can output a complicated flash file.

Unfortunatly I tried some samples of vector animation programs (which also had some swf support) by major companies companies (toon boom, toonz animation board) and decided that Flash still has a number of advantages and may be the best choice until you get to the unlisted price professional types.

Reading at the library yesterday I came across mention that the show “Atomic Betty” , composed of computer animation, cell, and 3d, owed most of it’s look to Flash. (I’ve seen the show, generally awfull.)

You should kindly ask terrorists to stop killing people too.

It’s anti-competitive because there is nothing else that even comes close to it. It has an advantage called Action Script.

It does create extra code IF you use ‘Design’ mode, it’s still very usefull if you only use ‘Code’ mode, because you type in the code yourself.

He is wrong, Macromedia doesn’t have a search agent that looks for illegally created websites. First of all Macromedia has no right to ‘shut down’ your website, secondly it doesn’t create any code specifying whether it was made with an illegal version or not.

Other Macromedia products do have a feature ‘similar’ to this though, for example if you create an application with an educational version of Director, it will display a screen at the end that says the application was created with an educational version of Director. This is because you are not allowed to sell applications created with educational versions of software. So when someone buys a CD application created with Director and see the said screen, they report it to Macromedia and Macromedia takes legal action.

Wiggie wrote:

You should kindly ask terrorists to stop killing people too.

Thanks for letting us all know that you think that there will always be terrorist and that there’s no hope for peace.

Wiggie also wrote:

It’s anti-competitive because there is nothing else that even comes close to it. It has an advantage called Action Script.

I’m wondering why Micosoft were taken to court? They should have taken Linux to court for not developing their operating system fast enough.

Wiggie went on to say:

It does create extra code IF you use ‘Design’ mode, it’s still very usefull if you only use ‘Code’ mode, because you type in the code yourself.

I’ll just stick with Windows Editor thanks :smiley: